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NDT.net Issue - 2012-03 - NEWS
NDT.net Issue: 2012-03
Publication: e-Journal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934 (NDT.net Journal)

75 Years Applus RTD

Applus RTD 77, Rotterdam, Netherlands

75 years... a milestone to be proud of
As the clock passes midnight on New Year’s Eve, we have attained a new milestone in the history of Applus RTD. The year 2012 represents the 75th year of our company’s existence... a remarkable achievement in our constantly changing and increasingly competitive world. In those early days in 1937 when the marine welding engineer Lambertus van Ouwekerk founded RTD (Röntgen Technische Dienst) his innovative mind saw great potential in the introduction of x-ray inspection for checking welds on ships’ hulls. He also realized that NDT would become an important factor in the introduction of welding as a replacement for rivetting. This concept suddenly offered a much wider potential, and after the war the company grew as the first refineries in Rotterdam were constructed, and RTD was appointed to check welded joints in the piping. The discovery of North Sea gas reserves led to further business expansion due to the thousands of kilometres of pipeline that were laid. Over the years, to handle an ever-growing and diverse range of challenges, RTD (which became Applus RTD when the Applus+ concern took the operation over in 2006) itself needed to grow and diversify. The success of this strategy can be seen in Applus RTD’s position today as a truly global leader.

Growth and diversification
The real development of Applus RTD into the worldwide organization that it is today, started in the 1970s. Following the establishment of an operation in Germany in 1973, the global net was spread and other national operations were started... in Belgium, followed by Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, and Denmark.

Over the years, Applus RTD also entered into a period (which is still on-going) of strategic acquisition where strong players in their domestic markets came under the Applus RTD banner and together, we developed synergies that meant we could deliver mutual benefits in each of these individual markets. These acquisitions have included Compra in Germany, Steeltest and PNDT in Australia, PS&I and CTS in France, the Dutch companies of Vantage and DCI, plus RMI in Norway. Other acquisitions included MB Inspection in the UK, JanX, QISI, Valley X and Kiefner & Associates in the USA, Ekopol in Poland, Technico and Stavely in Canada, and Qualitec in raapidly expanding market of Brazil.

At Applus RTD needless to say, we cannot rely on growth through acquisition alone, we must continue to focus on innovation and new developments, and of course on maintaining the highest levels of expertise through our highly trained specialist personnel. We must also recognize and respond to new communication technologies both within and outside our organization... with concepts like Axapta and our global networking facilities. Because as our business world expands, we must have the ability to keep a finger on the pulse and respond to needs... whenever and wherever they may arise.

Iain Light

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